Outsourcing Birthdays

| October 15, 2013 | 11 Comments

Am I a bad mum for outsourcing as much of a recent birthday party as possible? In theory, outsourcing isn’t a bad thing. I built a business on people outsourcing their housework, after all. Many companies exist to provide services to people who are too busy or can’t be bothered. When it came time to organize a birthday party for my youngest daughter, I sought to do as little as possible. I reasoned that I’ve made big efforts in the past – like the tea-party themed decorating event I did last year, which left pervasive pink sparkles around the house for months. I figured I’ve done the DIY party to death, and it has been just a month since I had surgery. My daughter will still love me if I coast this year on the party planning, right?

It was all done in a day. One drive out to Ray Friel Centre to book swimming party. They decorate the party room, handle dishes, decorating, food, and drink. Then an email to The Loot Bag Lady, who was able to accommodate my request for a mermaid-themed giveaway. My husband dealt with a friend who would create a special mermaid cake for the party. My daughter and I wrote out 7 invitations together that evening, and she delivered them to her friends the next day. Done!

What do they say about when something seems too good to be true? A week before the party I received a confirmation call from the party coordinator at Ray Friel Centre. Actually, I received 2 calls from her, which went to voicemail and I never bothered to call her back. I thought “Yes, the party is on Sunday – what else is there to say??” Thankfully she did her job well, and reached me on her third try. As she read over the details, I realized that I may have written the wrong start time on the invitations. One of the mums quickly confirmed that yes, I had asked everyone to arrive at the party when it was supposed to end. My well-planned outsourced party would have been my sad 8 year old all alone, wondering where her friends were. I was horrified that I made such a mistake. Can I still blame it on post-op fuzziness?

I had 48 hours to get everyone to the party on time. I had emails for only 2 mums. I credit my uber-organized daughter for diligently telling her friends. Everyone called to confirm they got the message. I figured all my work was done.

Wrong again. I hadn’t really thought through what it would be like to be responsible for 8 little girls in a wave pool. That 1 hour felt like an endless day of screeching, being splashed, kicked, and yelled at by lifeguards for not being close enough to one of the kids. My husband and I went into a military-style communication pattern of flashing fingers at each other, indicating the number of kids we each had in our sights, to make sure we always had our 8. Then I was alone in the change room, holding up towels for the shy girls, counting socks and packing backpacks.

Next time I outsource a party, I’m going to pick something that doesn’t require me to wear a swimsuit.

Rebecca Page

Rebecca Page








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Category: Family, Kids, Tips

About the Author ()

Rebecca left her corporate cubicle to start Concierge Home Services, which helps makes lives better for busy homeowners by providing house cleaning, pet sitting, and home check services. Her company now has 6 locations in 3 cities, and ready for more franchisees. Rebecca practises kundalini yoga every morning, loves reading, learning, and quality time with her 2 daughters and baby grandson.

Comments (11)

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  1. Candace says:

    Oh I hear ya sister! I always hated when I took my kids for swim lessons and they would have a parent day. No, no, no. I am paying YOU to swim with them. sheesh 😉

  2. Patty says:

    I haven’t done a swimming party because of exactly what you described! So stressful. We’ve done many other kids of parities with a lot of success.

  3. paula schuck says:

    I haven’t done a swimming party yet either. We do outsource those babies often though. No harm in knowing your strengths!

  4. I have never organized a pool party because my kids are born in fall and winter. But I hear your pain.. it is hard

  5. I have done it both ways and they both have their merits. There are advantages to outsourcing, but the personal touch of a party from scratch is pretty awesome too. In the end, it all comes down to time for me. If I have time to spare, I do it all! If not, I have no problem outsourcing.

  6. tina krauss says:

    i like movie parties. some theaters have pretty good party rooms.

  7. Victoria Ess says:

    Oh my gosh that sounds pretty hectic! It seems like it worked out? I wouldn’t blame you for thinking about ‘outsourcing’ birthday parties and it DEFINITELY does not make you a bad mom!!

  8. Christine says:

    I have outsourced 1 pool party when my daughter was 4 (Splash Wave pool) however, since the children were young, all children came with a parent so it was ok as I was not responsible for all 8 kids just my own. However, we have a swimming pool and for her 7th party she desperately wanted a pool party at home so we delayed her birthday a month from May to June.

    There was a major storm the day before the party…we are talking potential hurricane weather…I prayed for beautiful weather. We got a perfect day 25 + sunny with a nice breeze. The very next day it was almost frigid. With 10 kids in the pool my life guard friend and I were certainly busy watching! Although it was worth it…as she said it was “the best birthday ever!”

    I’m now going to shamelessly outsource my youngest’s 5th party to the museum of agriculture as we have a HUGE home reno going on so there is no way I would have all those kids in the small space that is not under construction! I don’t have any guilt whatsoever…I’m going to just enjoy the day!

  9. kathy downey says:

    I hear you loud and clean ….done that,it can be stressful

  10. kathy downey says:

    I love this cake its so creative

  11. kathy downey says:

    You done such a great job on the cake i was showing it to my friend last weekend she is having a party and was thinking about a cake like this

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